Sunday, January 18, 2015

White Collar Scams... Halsted Financial Services

(my nervous doodling while on the phone with Halsted Financial)

If they call...they won't give you that name actually, so you won't know it's them.  You have to request that name very specifically and they must answer (lest you know they are a complete joke and hang up I assume).  They will just ask for the last four digits of your (or spouses) social like they already have it and then wait for you to respond.  We've been getting automated calls from these people for the last month but the calls came to my phone asking for Luke.  It said if it wasn't Luke on the phone to hang up, so I did.  Then finally Luke was home and I passed the phone off to  him.  They asked for the last four numbers of his social "to verify his identity" and he asked for more specifics before handing over that information.  They dogged the question.  Luke finally got fed up, said not to call again and hung up.  They called the next day anyway.  I hit "0" to talk to a human because I was mad they called again after being told not to.  I was treated so disrespectfully and rudely that I got really huffy.  basically they try to make you so mad and flustered, questioning if you really are who you say you are, hoping that somehow you'll feel the need to defend your identity enough that you fork over the info they need.  The voices of the reps are sneering, obnoxious and accusing.  I got the guys name and asked to speak with a manager.  He said he would have a manager call me later.
"NO!  I don't want you ever to call this number again, let me talk to your manager."  I was getting very rude back at this point.  He transferred the call.  The manager was like the "nice cop" or the "good guy"in a sales deal.  Basically, we needed to give him the last four numbers of Luke's social so he could help me settle some debts we owed...or we would be in worse trouble.  I said we didn't have any unsettled debts...to which he sarcastically replied "Then I guess you have nothing to worry about then...if you are so sure."  Arg....I wanted to scream.  I didn't know a human could make me feel so uncomfortable and angry in 5 minutes time.  Finally he gives the ultimatum "We've been talking for ten minutes about nothing (we hadn't) are you or are you not going to verify your identity?"
I said "I'm not".
He gets the last word in "Well, it looks like we'll be calling you again." and he hung up.

So the reason this is all SO very annoying is that this company is not completely illegal (or at least I don't think so...enough people have had problems that I would think they would be shut down if illegal-not 100% sure though) and they have a nice formal looking website (that makes making payments very simple of course).  They get your info (the info I and Luke were thankfully hesitant to give), look up old debts you may have that have been legally closed/settled out because it's been so long (I think it's 6-7 year) and try to collect on them.  You have to file a cease and desist order to make them stop calling you or send a letter to their address by snail mail (listed below if needed).  It's CRAZY!  I just blocked the number on my cell and hope it ends there, but had we given them the social number, they may have been able to track down a work number for Luke somehow and they will call you at work...and call you again based on BBB reviews I read (not that they are BBB accredited, but people have posted nearly 160 complaints there anyway).  Relentless.

I'm posting about it because they are so good at what they do.  I even knew Luke thought it was a scam from the conversation he had with them the day before, but was still tempted to give them the number so they would give me the debt info we possibly owed.  I was concerned about identity theft maybe... I don't know...they sort of talk you into a corner.  So I thought it was worth the heads up.  Hold your ground.  They probably don't have any of that information they claim to until you hand over your identity.  If you don't have unsettled debts, tell them so and hang up, they've got nothing on you.

copy paste from this site:

"You have the right to tell a debt collector to stop calling you about your debt at any time. When asked, the debt collection agency must provide you with the full name of the company and a mailing address where you can send a letter requiring them to stop contact regarding this debt. You may do this even if you owe the debt. After they receive that letter, the debt collection agency may only contact you to tell you that they will stop their collection efforts or to inform you that they are no longer trying to collect the debt or that they are taking legal action against you."

Halsted Financial Services Address

Halsted Financial Services
P.O. Box 5773
Evanston, IL 60201-5773
Halsted Financial Services Phone Number: 877-833-1629
signature1 photo signature1_zps2d44e4ca.jpg

18 comments:

J and A said...

Oh, yikes. How frustrating. I never answer numbers I don't have in my phone book, but I will have to let the husband know :)

L, Ann and boys said...

I normally don't either but...the area code was 219...which is one I know well. I don't know if they use local numbers close to yours or what. Very frustrating.

Shana said...

This totally happened to me as well :/ arg very annoying! And they were calling me at work ect until I had the hubs answer the phone where he got them to leave me alone.... and then I had it happen again like two years later with a different cell number only they were calling for a "Steve"... I had so many voice mails from these people... I finally just blocked them. Regardless... it's frustrating that they are legal.

L, Ann and boys said...

Shana-so sorry to hear. I'm not totally sure if it's legal or not...enough people have filed claims and they haven't been shut down though...I think they claim to be a service that can help clean up old debt...maybe increase credit score...I have no idea how else they could get away with what they are doing. people filing claims said the money wasn't being removed from the old bill in question so...who knows how they are finding loop holes. Frustrating.

L, Ann and boys said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
shai said...

They are an insane company that needs to be hunted down like they are hunting others down. They are beyond harassment and it's definitely illegal.

See more @ http://800notes.com/Phone.aspx/1-877-833-1629/5

There's time & effort to put in to get them. The only problem is they know how to hide very well.

Their website is registered by

HALSTEDFINANCIAL.COM@domainsbyproxy.com

Which is a service GoDaddy offers. It should be possible to take legal action to find out who the people behind registering that website are, and take them to court for harassment.

Phone bills have records of the phone calls that were made to you, some of which were done by -

http://800notes.com/Phone.aspx/1-203-544-4628
http://800notes.com/Phone.aspx/1-877-833-1629/5
http://800notes.com/Phone.aspx/1-877-220-4461/2

and many many more phone calls...

It's not impossible to take them to court, just need to spend time to take the legal action against them. It's definitely jail-material.

Anonymous said...

I don't answer my phone anymore (thanks to email) and if it does ring and it shows up funny on my caller id - I won't answer it. I don't even let the voice mail answer it. I went to the BBB site and they put them down as a "B" rating, which is really confusing because they receive a lot of complaints. If a bill (even a collection agency) does not arrive in the mail - I don't pay it. If I pay a bill over the phone I know who I'm paying. It is the LAW to ask a collection agency to bill you before you pay. I know out of experience these type of collectors won't do that because if they send a false bill to you, it is a federal offense. So them to send you a bill and hang up. Don't be cordial if they refuse to be with you. And be wise not to give them any personal/financial information. ~ Someone who had enough

Anonymous said...

I just received a call from these unprofessional swindlers. When asked if the last 4 of my social was XXXX I simply stated that i don't give out that information over the phone and that they would have to send me a letter via certified mail to the address on file. I then said, please direct any further contact via mail to the address on file. I hung up and added their number to my auto reject list.

TL;DR - Don't do business dealing with debt over the phone.

Anonymous said...

Yes they do use local numbers to reach you. I've had the same problems. They then leave a message with an 866 or 867 number. You call the local number back they won't answer the phone or you can't text them to ask them to stop calling. I've got to learn how to block the call on my cell. I'm old school.

Anonymous said...

I only gave my birthdate as verification. I told them I don't pay debt collectors and to take my work number off their file. I have documented what happened and should they call again, will not hesitate to file a report with the BBB. (I always make sure I get the name of the person who answers the phone prior to telling them I don't pay debt collectors.) That has worked in the past after filing a report with the BBB. I was not contacted again. Even though the debt collectors are not registered with BBB, they do not want negative reports on the web about their services. Please review your rights on the Federal Trade Commissions website regarding debt collectors. In some instances, you can file a lawsuit and win. Thanks for the opportunity to share.

KTren said...

I just started receiving calls from this company... They called two days in a row and hung up when I answered. It didn't come up as a 800 number but a local one identified as HFS. I called back and let it ring until someone answered and they told me who made the call. I said I have no idea who that is and they told me that would remove the number. Let's see if they comply! I haven't had this number but a couple months.

Anonymous said...

They would call my work and hang up. Finally after a couple of days of this, I called back and asked who they were. They said they were looking for me but didn't give a company name or what this was in regards to. The gentleman on the phone said I need you give me the last four digits of you SS# to "verify your identity." I said no I won't give that over the phone. He said "well if you don't feel comfortable to give the SS# then how about a date of birth?" I told him "no I will not verify any information over the phone." While this was going on another caller from the same company (different #) was calling the other line. The man I was speaking to mumbled something about taking care of this then hanging up. After reading this article, I'm so glad I didn't give any information.

Anonymous said...

They call me two or three times a day from at least 3 different area codes. If I answer they pause then disconnect. They.ve never spoken. I have reported them to local fraud/scam section of law enforcement. Sooner or later they're going to do something that will put a nail in their coffin. I hope its mine.

Joshua Freiwald said...

Yea... these con-artists call me every day, 3-4 times daily. They call from numbers with my states area code. They bet on the fact that you will call them back after they hang-up, and, well.. curiosity got the best of me. I learned they are a "collection agency" out of Skokee, IL. They break multiple FDCPA rules and regulations regularly. It's only a matter of time before they get shut down. So, instead of wasting money on taking these clowns to court, I block every number they call me from. Worse yet, they are claiming I owe them for an ambulance bill I had in 2011. All those bills were paid out of my settlement from my attorney. Don't let them intimidate you! If anything, call the original creditor and negotiate with them. They are going to tell you it's out of their hands, and you have to deal with the collection agency. Don't buy that. Collection agencies only get paid if they collect. If the creditor wont negotiate with you, thats on them...

Anonymous said...

You guys sound like a bunch of people who don't pay your bills. Pay whay you owe and they will not call you. FYI.

L, Ann and boys said...

Oh hello...why do I picture an employee from the same company that called me leaving an anonymous comment like this. I decided to post it since it demonstrates how badgering the whole crew can be. booooo

We have no outstanding bills...and no you can not have my social security number.

Anonymous said...

I received a letter addressed to my first married name to my parents' address in which I haven't lived in 18 years. They offered me a 50% discount off of my $500 debt. After reading this blog, I am assuming the calls I'm getting from the area code in which I live, but in small towns where I know nobody... are most likely these guys.
I called the number in the letter to inquire what this was in regards to. I felt pressured to "have this burden lifted off my shoulder" and as soon as I said I would like to settle it once he could confirm it's a legitimate debt, he transferred me to a manager. It was then that she told me it was an installment loan from June of 2012 but then started referring to a hospital visit. I told her I was confused and asked if they had 2 accounts for me. She started asking if I remember a hospital visit in 2012 and I reminded her she told me this is from an installment loan. When I asked for the hospital name, she started to explain the HIPAA privacy law to me... with all the info they have on me, they don't know I work in the Legal department of an insurance company? Odd. Anyway, I told her I needed proof showing the legitimacy of this debt and she said she would be happy to email me as soon as I set up a post-dated payment to give me time to review what she sends me and stop the payment if I desire. As I was saying the letter gives me until March 28 to pay, she spoke over me to tell me they need the payment 2 days prior to the deadline so I asked that she send me proof and I'll call on the 26th and she told me that's not how it works. I was trying to tell her I'm not setting anything up today and she kept talking over me so I finally hung up. I told my friend and she googled HFS and found this blog... in which I'm thankful for. I was worried and contemplated paying the $250, but now I feel better about trusting my gut and refusing to pay without proof.

Thank you for sharing!

Brandiwinters34 said...

This place been calling me since dec at least 9-13 calls a day from 4 different numbers all 4 numbers start with a (901) area code and 425-9763; (901)425-9679;; (901)-425-9439.... any ways I've answered and no one is there then eventually goes to a busy sound!!! I've called back rang rang and rang!!! Last wed. 4/5/17 they been calling all day and called at 8:58 pm, I called back and Lo and behold a woman answered and asked soon as I said hello she what's ur social security number???? Said no way who is this yaw called me 100's of times for months she said is the (423)-7**-91**, and I said looks that way,again who are you and she said give me ur social I told her he'll no she had phone number that was more than enough to look me up !!! I told her idk who u guys r or what ur sailing scamming or who knows what!!! But do not call me again that this number is registered on the do not call resgister and I have submitted numerous claims on all 4 numbers you use to harass us with. She was very quick to let me know there no such thing as a fu****g do not call register to go fu** myself and hung up,,, I called back and an Asian dialect answered and asked if my number was such as I said it's number u guys 10-14 times a day on!!! Who is this she said Halstead financial and asked my last 4 of ss# I said so she asked me is 7329 was my last 4 it is not not even one number close and told her so she apologized said they had no account from and would stop calling,yet the next day back at the calls. Monday a collection account popped up on my TU CR for plaza services for a check into cash of 489$. I called plaza services today let me know they had bought the debt ,I told her I had no such debt and she said she would connect me to the agency that has my account.. I said hey wait wohoooo. Plaza services don't have it, being reported that yaw do,she said again connecting you to agency that has your account!!! And lo and behold it was Lisa from Halstead financial in Chicago Illinois trying to collect on debt. I went on to tell her about wed night no account! I then took another cussing!! I've called TU let them know as well as CFPB and FTC!!! And may peruse legally I think they need large consumer lawsuits against them personally!!! But there affiliated with Plaza Services!,,, beware guys